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Volkswagen close to agreeing US emissions scandal settlement

Car giant Volkswagen has said it is in "advanced talks" with US authorities on a proposed settlement that contains 4.3 billion dollars (£3.5 billion) in criminal and civil fines over its diesel emissions scandal.

The draft settlement would require the company to strengthen compliance efforts, including the appointment of an independent monitor.

A statement from VW said that under the proposal, it would agree to "a guilty plea" to criminal law provisions.

The draft deal would need to be approved by Volkswagen's board and US courts.

Volkswagen has admitted equipping diesel cars with software that turned up emissions controls when the car was being tested, and turned them down during normal driving, improving engine performance but exceeding emission limits.

The company has agreed to a 15 billion US dollars (£12.3 billion) civil settlement with environmental authorities and car owners in the US.

Volkswagen said its management board of top executives, which includes CEO Matthias Mueller, and its board of directors would deal with the settlement "in the very short term", as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday.

"A final conclusion of the settlement agreement is further subject to the execution by the competent US authorities and to the approval of the competent US courts," the company added.

The penalties would exceed what the company has set aside to cover costs from the scandal but the specific impact on 2016 earnings "cannot be defined at present".

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